Wintertime Park ski train wont run this period as a result of coronavirus readied to return in 2022

#thisseason? ? ⛄ ? ✅

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Passengers on Amtrak's Winter Park Ski Train soak in a sunrise in March 2019. (Jesse Paul, The <a href=Colorado Sun)”>

By Thomas Peipert, The Associated Press

A train that takes skiers and snowboarders from downtown Denver to Winter Park Resort won’t run this season because of the coronavirus pandemic, Amtrak and resort officials said Wednesday.

“Amtrak and Winter Park Resort evaluated seating options on the Winter Park Express and agreed that with social distancing requirements, it was not possible to operate the train successfully this season,” the partners said in a joint statement.

The service, which typically runs on weekends from January through March, won’t return until 2022. Amtrak and resort officials said that in the meantime they would explore ways to improve the experience.

The train’s hiatus this season is another blow to Colorado’s ski industry, which is trying to figure out how to safely reopen resorts this winter amid the pandemic. Resorts in Colorado were shut down in mid-March just as spring break was ramping up.

For decades, the train chugged into the Rocky Mountains west from Denver, snaking through 29 tunnels and crossing the Continental Divide before delivering eager skiers to the base of the resort at an elevation of 9,000 feet (2,743 meters). Insurance woes doomed the service in 2009, but — with some help from Amtrak — it was resurrected in 2017.

Skinning uphill at Winter Park. (Nina Riggio, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Powered by diesel-electric engines, the train runs from Denver’s historic Union Station about 60 miles (96 kilometers) and 3,700 vertical feet (1,128 vertical meters) into Colorado’s snow-swept mountains. It drops passengers off about 100 yards (91 meters) from the lifts after passing through the 6.2-mile (10-kilometer) Moffat Tunnel, which was finished in 1928 and is credited with opening Denver up to western commerce.

The Winter Park Express features Amtrak’s Superliner double-decker cars, which are designed for longer distances and are roomier than normal passenger train cars.

The train, which shares tracks with Amtrak’s California Zephyr that runs between Chicago and San Francisco, has been a draw since it started running in 1940, the same year the ski resort opened. After the service was discontinued for a few years during World War II, it ran almost every ski season from 1947 until 2009, when billionaire investor and then-owner Philip Anschutz shut it down because it became too expensive to run when insurance rates went up.

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  • Julian Assange may end up at Colorado’s Supermax prison, U.K. court is told
  • Winter Park ski train won’t run this season because of coronavirus, set to return in 2022
  • $5.6 million grant awarded to help pay for work along Southwest Chief route
  • “Bigger than a trail”: Grand Valley’s Palisade Plunge set to open after 10 years of planning, partnerships
  • Littwin: Debate leaves us with just one question: Is Donald Trump a worse person than he is a president?

via Straight News https://coloradosun.com/2020/09/30/winter-park-ski-train-coronavirus/

Did you miss our previous article…
https://danpabon.com/the-following-four-weeks-will-certainly-identify-if-cory-gardner-keeps-his-work-heres-just-how-he-prepares-to-move-the-tide/

The following four weeks will certainly identify if Cory Gardner keeps his work. Heres just how he prepares to move the tide.

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more news https://northdenvernews.com

Cory Gardner is touting his legislative accomplishments in the U.S. Senate and his work responding to the coronavirus crisis. He is getting praise from President Donald Trump and big financial help from national Republicans. And the GOP lawmaker from Yuma is relentlessly attacking his Democratic opponent, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, for violating the state’s ethics laws for public officials.

And yet, Gardner is still behind in his reelection bid a week before ballots hit the mail. 

Every poll since October 2019 shows him trailing Hickenlooper, and the closest he’s looked is a 5 percentage point loss. Hickenlooper holds an average 7.8 percentage point lead over Gardner.

MORE: How Cory Gardner and John Hickenlooper are polling in the 2020 U.S. Senate election

If Gardner wants to keep his job, he must significantly shift the trajectory of the race in the next month, starting with the contest’s first debate Friday. The Republican’s campaign and his allies see the debates as one of their best chances to close the gap — an opportunity to trip up Hickenlooper and show he’s the wrong fit for a U.S. Senate seat. 

“I think they are critical,” said Kelly Maher, a Republican consultant.

The two candidates — who are running tightly controlled campaigns with limited in-person voter interactions because of COVID-19 — will confront plenty of unanswered questions heading into the home stretch, including about the future of the U.S. Supreme Court, the coronavirus crisis and allegiance to their respective political parties.

John Hickenlooper and Cory Gardner have both leveraged the economic success of Colorado on the campaign trail. (Hickenlooper photo by Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons; Gardner photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

But the pressure is most felt by the incumbent. Gardner’s seat is considered one of the most vulnerable for Republicans in the 2020 election, and top political prognosticators agree that it either leans Democratic, or is at best a toss up.

Veteran Republican strategists are becoming nervous about Gardner’s reelection chances as the clock ticks closer to Election Day. And the numbers for President Donald Trump, whom Gardner has endorsed, remain negative in Colorado, where he is deeply unpopular. 

MORE: Colorado doesn’t appear to be a presidential swing state in 2020. That could spell big trouble for Cory Gardner.

“The headwinds,” said Allen Fuller, a Republican strategist in Colorado, “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Gardner and his backers believe they still have time to move the needle and claim victory. Even those who look warily at his campaign say that if anyone can pull off an upset, it’s Gardner.

In addition to showing a clear contrast to Hickenlooper in the debates, the campaign says its strategy, currently playing out in television and online advertising, to cast Hickenlooper as corrupt has worked and helped move the race to within striking distance. They plan to stay the course, even if public polling shows the contest remains stalled with Hickenlooper in the lead.

“This was always going to be a close fight until the end,” said Casey Contres, Gardner’s campaign manager, in a written statement. 

Hickenlooper’s campaign strategy is a similar one of staying on track. “It’s going to be pretty much what we’ve done for the last 13 months,” said Ammar Moussa, a Hickenlooper spokesman. “We are staring down the barrel of this horrible crisis that has been made worse by Donald Trump’s negligence and enabled by Cory Gardner, and more than ever, Washington needs a problem-solver to get it through this crisis.”

The debates

The first debate Friday, hosted by The Pueblo Chieftain newspaper and sponsored by AARP, will set the tone for the other three debates and the final push to Election Day. 

The most notable contrast expected to emerge, according to political observers from both parties, is the differing personalities and qualifications of the candidates. 

Gardner is considered the more effective debater, well known for his ability to sidestep tough questions and stick to his talking points. Hickenlooper, meanwhile, has struggled at times to communicate a clear, succinct message and he is prone to misspeaking and contradicting himself on issues, as he did a number of times in Democratic primary debates in June.

Republicans see an opportunity to take the offensive in the debates if the Democratic challenger stumbles again. Hickenlooper “has the worst case of foot-in-mouth disease of any politician I’ve ever seen,” said Fuller, who worked on the Republican gubernatorial campaign against him in 2014.

Back then, Fuller said, the campaign’s debate strategy was designed to keep Hickenlooper talking, because “if he’s talking, he’s explaining and it’s probably going to veer into some unknown territory.”

Gardner’s supporters see the debates as the Republican’s best chance to show Colorado voters how much he contrasts with Hickenlooper in leadership style and the issues. 

Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner speaks at a campaign rally with President Donald Trump in Colorado Springs. (Mark Reis, Special to The Colorado Sun)

At the Club 20 political event in Grand Junction a few weeks ago, Gardner offered a preview of his debate message. He made the case that he is the guy who gets things done while Hickenlooper entered the race after saying he didn’t even want to be a senator. 

“Gardner’s job is to make Hickenlooper not acceptable as an alternative,” said Lori Wiegel, a Republican pollster in Colorado.

Gardner has also criticized Hickenlooper’s embrace, albeit tentative at times, of policies put forward by far-left members of the Democratic Party and pointed to the former governor’s shifting stance on oil and gas, suggesting it could hurt the state’s industry. 

MORE: John Hickenlooper’s conflicting record and rhetoric on fracking a point of dispute in U.S. Senate race

GOP operatives are looking for Hickenlooper to make a mistake that can be used in television commercials in the final weeks before Election Day, just as they did in 2014 against U.S. Sen. Mark Udall.

“I think the thing for Cory is just that people need to continuously be reminded of where he has really delivered for the people of Colorado,” said Maher, the GOP consultant. “He’s trying to put that out there. … But the reality is when you have the debate you have the opportunity to talk directly to the people.” 

For Hickenlooper, his goal is to tie Gardner to Trump as often and as tightly as possible. And his supporters want the Democrat to stand his ground and remind voters in the final weeks about his record as governor.

His allies acknowledge that debates are not his strong suit, but Alan Salazar, a former Hickenlooper political strategist, said the candidate should still stick to his personality. Vintage Hickenlooper, he argues, is the best path.

“Honest, direct and a little of the self-deprecation,” Salazar said. “I don’t think John should be anything but himself.”

Outgoing Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper jokes with his wife, Robin, and son, Teddy, before the inauguration of Gov. Jared Polis at the Colorado Capitol on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. (Pool photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

Gena Ozols, a Democratic strategist and member of the Hickenlooper campaign’s Women’s Leadership Council, said she expects the candidate to do better than the primary debates earlier this year, where he appeared shaken. She’s noticed a difference as the candidate hit the campaign trail in recent weeks.

“What we are seeing is they are unshook, and he is coming out of that,” she said. “And we are seeing John for who he is. And I hope that’s exactly who we see during the debate: An honest, affable guy who is doing his best to be upfront about things.”

His Democratic supporters also believe Hickenlooper must communicate a clear vision of what he would do if elected, as a way to contrast against what they see as a stalemate in Washington on key issues such as coronavirus aid and climate change. 

“We’ve seen inaction on one side from Cory,” said Alice Madden, a former Democratic lawmaker and U.S. Senate candidate, “so I think John talking about what he most wants to get done would be incredibly helpful to the cause.”

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Ethics violations, U.S. Supreme Court also big debate focus

Beyond the battle of the personalities, Hickenlooper’s ethics violations and Republicans’ hasty efforts to fill the vacant U.S. Supreme Court seat are expected to take center stage at the debates.

Democrats expect Gardner to boast about his own record but also misconstrue his positions on issues like health care, all the while going on the attack against Hickenlooper, especially concerning the two ethics violations handed down against the governor earlier this year. How Hickenlooper explains the ethics situation and responds to the attacks will speak volumes, observers said.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper turns in his signatures to secure his spot in the 2020 U.S. Senate Democratic primary on Feb. 19, 2020. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

Salazar, who worked for Hickenlooper during his time as governor, argued that Gardner’s negative approach in the campaign will eventually sour voters. “I think John should let Cory Gardner be as mean and nasty as he’s capable of being,” Salazar said. “And that’s not going to show well.” 

Hickenlooper is expected to go on the offensive against Gardner for reversing his stance on whether to replace a U.S. Supreme Court justice in a presidential election year. In 2016, Gardner supported blocking President Barack Obama’s choice to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia because of the election nine months away. But after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in September, Gardner quickly said he would vote to confirm a “qualified” nominee.

Gardner met Tuesday with Trump’s pick to replace Ginsburg, Amy Coney Barrett. In a statement, he said she is “highly qualified.” He also voted to place her on the federal bench, for a different role, in 2017.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, left, meets with Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner. (Handout)

Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election prognosticator that recently moved Colorado’s Senate race into the “leans Democrat” column from “toss up,” sees Gardner’s support for replacing Ginsburg before a new president is sworn in as perilous. Jessica Taylor, the Senate editor for Cook Political Report, said the decision may well “seal his fate.”

MORE: Cory Gardner says he will vote to confirm a “qualified” replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg

There are also looming questions for Hickenlooper about the Supreme Court. On the presidential campaign trail, he said he was open to increasing the size of the court if it becomes too conservative. He also said he wanted to implement a rule about how quickly the Senate has to consider a nominee. 

When asked by The Colorado Sun last week about those positions, however, he declined to answer.

MORE: Here’s what John Hickenlooper thinks about a U.S. Supreme Court expansion and what makes a good justice 

In the end, the question remains open about whether the debates will change the game.

“Historically, you don’t see a lot of changes coming out of debates, and particularly this election cycle people seem very locked into their choices,” said Craig Hughes, a Democratic consultant working with the Senate Majority PAC, a political committee working to elect Hickenlooper. “It will be hard for Gardner to break out given his voting record for Trump and the embrace they have had for each other. A debate performance just doesn’t change that.”

Paul Teske, the public affairs dean of the University of Colorado Denver, agreed that the political landscape appears set. “Just like the presidential race, my sense is it’s fairly baked in.’ 

“I feel like there’s limited range for both of them, maybe some room at the margins to change minds,” he added.

The television war 

Beyond the debates, the airwaves war between the two candidates continues to escalate as the election approaches. 

So far this year, more than $54 million has been spent or reserved by the candidates and outside groups on the race. The spending is fairly evenly split between supporting and opposing the two candidates.

But the messages have begun to shift. Gardner is still attacking Hickenlooper over his ethics violations, but he’s now started to directly pitch voters on being the safer candidate to represent them in Congress.

“You and I may not always agree,” he says in one TV ad. “But you know I honestly work hard for Colorado.” In another ad, Gardner is labeled as “bipartisan” and “effective.”

The change is notable because Gardner’s campaign strategy for weeks has been to erode the support Hickenlooper built as a two-term Denver mayor and two-term governor. Even with Hickenlooper’s image ratings down, Gardner is still trailing in the head-to-head contest. 

“Even if they don’t like (Hickenlooper) as much as they used to, he’s quite clearly the better alternative,” said Andrew Baumann, senior vice president for Global Strategy Group, a Democratic polling and political strategy firm.

Hickenlooper, meanwhile, has doubled down from relentlessly attacking Gardner’s support for Trump to also criticizing specific aspects of his recent congressional record. In a new TV commercial, Hickenlooper stands between two cardboard cutouts of Gardner on a debate stage and highlights the senator’s conflicting record on health care, the environment and Trump.

“This Cory voted to roll back protections for air and water,” Hickenlooper says, pointing to one cardboard cutout, “but he’s posing as an environmentalist,” he says while gesturing to the other.

Gardner’s record of passing legislation and working across party lines is a key pillar of his reelection campaign strategy as the senator tries to court unaffiliated voters. David Flaherty, who leads the Republican-leaning polling firm Magellan Strategies, said Hickenlooper’s latest ads are meant to cut Gardner’s efforts off at the knees and serve as a closing argument.

“He’s attacking the foundation of what Cory is trying to make himself to be,” Flaherty said. “The contradictions are so easy for voters to understand.”

EARLIER: Does Cory Gardner have a breaking point when it comes to Trump? The political climate suggests he better not.

Flaherty said unaffiliated voters don’t like any whiff of partisanship, which could make Hickenlooper’s ads potent. He said Gardner’s change of heart on the Supreme Court is especially clear-cut and damning. 

Gardner’s campaign argues the race is still competitive by pointing to the ongoing spending by Democratic groups supporting Hickenlooper. This week alone, Rocky Mountain Values dropped $1.5 million in Colorado opposing Gardner, and Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund added another $1 million. 

Another sign Gardner’s tactics may be working: Hickenlooper also has run his first-ever negative ads in this campaign. He also has responded to attacks on his character with an ad highlighting how he helped one of his then-employees at Wynkoop Brewing through a medical crisis. 

Combined, some are still feeling very confident about Gardner’s chances. 

“I’m more bullish,” said Greg Brophy, a former Republican state senator who is one of Gardner’s biggest cheerleaders, of the senator’s reelection chances. 

But Brophy, like other Republicans, is also aware that the political headwinds may be too much for Gardner in 2020, just as they were for many in the GOP two years ago when the party suffered blistering defeats in Colorado. He could run a flawless race and still lose. 

“The obvious weak spot is: ‘What if 2020 is a replay of 2018?’” Brophy said. “It’s not going to be. But if it is, it won’t matter that Cory is the best Republican candidate in the history of Colorado.”

Colorado Sun correspondent Sandra Fish contributed to this report.  

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  • The next four weeks will determine if Cory Gardner keeps his job. Here’s how he plans to shift the tide.
  • Julian Assange may end up at Colorado’s Supermax prison, U.K. court is told
  • Winter Park ski train won’t run this season because of coronavirus, set to return in 2022
  • $5.6 million grant awarded to help pay for work along Southwest Chief route
  • “Bigger than a trail”: Grand Valley’s Palisade Plunge set to open after 10 years of planning, partnerships

via Straight News https://coloradosun.com/2020/10/01/cory-gardner-john-hickenlooper-first-debate-final-stretch/

Colorado releases its strategy to reduce greenhouse gases leaving some ecological teams wanting more

#powerplants? ? ? ? ? ? ? ✂️ ?

Colorado News

The road to curbing Colorado’s greenhouse gases runs through heavy cuts to emissions from power plants and oil and gas operations, but also winds across ambitious reductions in pollution from cars, buildings and cows, according to a state plan released Wednesday.

The Colorado Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap, released by Gov. Jared Polis’ administration after nine months of work, quickly drew flak from some environmental groups. It failed to set a timetable for specific actions and some of the reduction estimates are overly optimistic, they said.

“The roadmap is missing the most essential element for progress: concrete regulatory policies to be proposed swiftly, that taken together are fully capable of guaranteeing climate pollution goes down,” said Pam Kiely, senior director for regulatory strategy at the Environmental Defense Fund. 

The state, led by the state Air Quality Control Commission, is charged under House Bill 1261 passed last year to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, which are linked to climate change, by 26% from 2005 levels in 2025; 50% by 2030; and 90% by 2050.

MORE: Oil and gas companies must monitor fracking emissions as Colorado adopts first-in-the-nation rules to reduce air pollution

Hitting those targets is “feasible with existing technologies, but will require actions and policies beyond those Colorado has taken already,” according to the roadmap, which is the product of a collaboration among the Colorado Energy Office, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and consultant E3 .

“There’s a lot of work ahead of us to address the climate crisis, and we’re going to continue moving forward with a rigorous, data-driven process,” John Putnam, CDPHE director of environmental programs, said in a statement.

It is, however, the pace of movement that critics question. “I don’t see anything new that the administration hasn’t already presented,” said Stacy Tellinghuisen, a senior climate policy analyst at Western Resource Advocates. “We need a sense of urgency.”

Still, the analysis did draw some praise. “There are a lot of ideas in the roadmap, a lot of work on emissions analysis and that’s important work,” said Kelly Nordini, executive director of Conservation Colorado. “We just need specifics.”

Transportation, largely as a result of auto traffic, has become the state’s largest source of greenhouse gases, followed by emissions from power plants and the oil and gas industry, according to the roadmap.

Getting to the 2030 target will require across-the-board cuts including an 80% reduction in electricity sector emissions, a 50% cut in oil and gas and 50% cut in transportation, according to the roadmap modeling.

There will also have to be reductions from buildings, primarily through energy efficiency and switching to electrification, as well as cutting methane emissions from agriculture, landfills and sewage plants.

In 2005, Colorado had nearly 140 million tons of carbon-equivalent emissions. (All greenhouse gases, such as methane which has 30 times the heat trapping effectiveness as carbon dioxide, are translated into their CO2 equivalent to get a global carbon number.)

Meeting the 2030 target will require curbing 70 million tons of carbon emissions, including 32.9 million tons from the electricity sector.

MORE: Is Colorado leading or lagging on climate policy? It depends on which states you’re comparing us to.

Utilities are already rapidly decarbonizing, in part to meet federal regional haze standards and in part because of the falling prices for wind and solar generation, leading to 14 Colorado coal-fired units closing by 2030 and cutting carbon emissions by 21.7 million tons.

In 2005, oil and gas accounted for 20 million tons of carbon-equivalent emissions. To meet the state 2025 target emissions, need to be cut by 6.7 million tons in 2025 and 10 million tons by 2030, according to the roadmap.

“Reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry is essential to achieving the state’s goals, as these make up the largest source of non-combustion emissions in the state,” the roadmap said.

Key to reaching those cuts will be identifying and reducing leak rates in both upstream operations and downstream distribution of oil and gas, the report said.

The industry, which is already dealing with rulemakings at the AQCC and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, offered a measured reaction.

 “This roadmap appears to be a modeling exercise, and while such an exercise can be a useful tool, the state must answer foundational policy questions before adopting sweeping rules with the potential to transform Colorado’s economy,” Lynn Granger, executive director of the API-Colorado, a trade group, said a statement.

Transportation accounted for 30 million tons of emissions in 2005. In 2020 transportation emissions were 24.5 million tons – about 500,000 tons more than the utility sector – with projections to decline to 14.5 million tons in 2030.

There have been a number of initiatives in Colorado to promote the adoption of zero-emission vehicles, such as electric or hydrogen-fueled cars,  including the adoption by the AQCC of the California ZEV rule, which sets goals for the sale of clean cars, and commits $37 million to develop electric vehicle infrastructure from settlements the state received in the Volkswagen class-action lawsuit.

A Chevy Bolt gets a charge at an Electrify America fueling station outside the I-70 Diner in Flagler, Colorado, on Sept. 27, 2020. (Dana Coffield, The Colorado Sun)

In April 2019, the Colorado Energy Office awarded ChargePoint, a private charging station company, $10.33 million to build high-speed charging stations in 34 communities along interstate, U.S. and state highways in Colorado. Xcel Energy has also proposed a $100 million program to develop charging stations in Colorado.

The projections in the E3 models for meeting the 2030 targets include what some critics describe as ambitious assumptions for ZEVs, as well as for some other sectors such as buildings and agriculture.

E3 assumes a ramp up in sales of ZEVs to 70% of the market by 2030. EVs account for about 2% of Colorado auto sales in 2019. The projections also assume that the nascent zero-emission truck market will account for 40% of annual sales in Colorado in 2030.

“This level of transformation will require continued effort from the state to remove barriers to consumer adoption, install robust EV charging infrastructure, and plan the electricity grid to accommodate new levels of electrification,” the roadmap said.

Similarly, the roadmap scenario calls for 60% sales share for electric heat pumps in space heating and water heating by 2030, and that methane emissions from cows and other farm animals will be cut by 25% by 2030 with changes in feeding practices.

On Monday, the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group, released its own modeling study on meeting Colorado greenhouse gas emission targets, which focused more on reducing power plant emissions by 98% and relied less on so many sector cuts.

“I’d say our plan is very ambitious and the roadmap plan is extremely ambitious,” said Ariana Gonzalez, NRDC director of Colorado policy, climate and energy programs.

The challenge with the state’s approach is that so many of the reductions relied on the aggregate decisions of large numbers of people and markets doing things like buying cars, building or renovating homes, and changing practices farm by farm. Going after big carbon emitters, Gonzalez said, is more cost effective and efficient.

The roadmap doesn’t indicate when or what comes next. 

“This is not a plan,” said Jeremy Nichols, WildEarth Guardians climate and energy program director. “It’s like a brochure of a travel destination. It looks awesome, but how do I get there? I don’t see it.”

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  • Colorado releases its plan to slash greenhouse gases, leaving some environmental groups wanting more
  • Bicycle retailers are seeing unprecedented sales. But the supply chain is tight and new bikes are hard to find.
  • The next four weeks will determine if Cory Gardner keeps his job. Here’s how he plans to shift the tide.
  • Julian Assange may end up at Colorado’s Supermax prison, U.K. court is told
  • Winter Park ski train won’t run this season because of coronavirus, set to return in 2022

via Straight News https://coloradosun.com/2020/10/01/colorado-greenhouse-gas-reduction-roadmap-release/

Bike stores are seeing unmatched sales. Yet the supply chain is limited and brand-new bikes are difficult to find.

#stilllooking? ? ? ? ? ?‍?‍?‍? ? ? ?

Colorado News

Leigh Mattson is still looking for a new bike.

In the early summer, she went to three bike stores near her home in Littleton and found no starter or intermediate bikes in stock. She thought she’d have better luck when she visited family in Tyler, Texas, in late June, but it was the same sight at stores in the city southeast of Dallas: rows and rows of empty bike shelves with only a handful of models left.

“It’s the waiting game,” she said.

With the coronavirus pandemic closing gyms and keeping Coloradans close to home, the demand for bicycles is at an unprecedented high across the state — and nation — helping some retailers’ bottom lines but straining a supply chain that might not stabilize until well into 2021.

Between April and July — the peak of stay-at-home measures in the U.S. — bike sales were 81% higher than in the same period in 2019, according to New York-based market research firm NPD Group. In April alone, as the coronavirus raged across the country, sales for bikes and accessories grew to $1 billion — far higher than a typical April, when sales add up to $550 million to $575 million.

MORE: Retailers are seeing spike in backcountry gear sales. That has avalanche educators, search teams worried.

Giant, the world’s largest bike manufacturer, sold 48% more bikes directly to customers in August than it did the same month last year, according to Second Measure, which analyzes anonymized consumer purchases. Specialized, another major bike manufacturer, sold 213% more bikes directly to riders this August compared to 2019. Trek expects to more than double its sales this year.

“Cycling has been one of the major activities that folks have turned to [during the pandemic], which in turn has fueled the market for new bicycles, and used bicycles, parts and accessories to fix up older bicycles, as more and more people are looking to get out on the trails,” said Patrick Hogan, bicycle industry research manager for PeopleForBikes, a Boulder-based trade group.

At some points during the pandemic, bicycle tire tubes and new bicycles priced at under $1,500 have been nearly impossible to purchase, industry experts say.

“Every [bicycle] brand out there in the U.S. and globally is experiencing a high demand … the demand is still higher than the inventory,” said Milay Galvez, director of marketing for Fuji Bikes. Fuji, which like most manufacturers makes most of its bikes in China, projects the market could stabilize by the end of the year. The company declined to publicly disclose its sales numbers, but Galvez said both its web traffic and sales are up. The company sells bikes to about 1,500 bike retailers across the United States.

“This is the bicycle boom that we have not seen since the 1970s in the U.S.,” Galvez added.

Brad Stewart, founder of Bicycle Outfitters, says his Grand Junction and Montrose stores are turning away 10 to 15 people a day who want to purchase a bike because the inventory just isn’t there. He normally stocks 1,100 bikes at any given time but is now down to about 150. 

“The unfortunate thing is the companies aren’t telling us when we’re going to get stuff,” Stewart said, adding that he hasn’t seen this scale of demand in the 28 years he has owned his business.

Stewart is seeing a whole new segment of customers in his shop: people who haven’t ridden in decades who are returning to the sport during the pandemic. Some customers on the hunt for a bike, he said, are driving all the way from Denver or over the border from Utah.

MORE: “Bigger than a trail”: Grand Valley’s Palisade Plunge set to open after 10 years of planning, partnerships

Bicycle Outfitters stocks bikes from seven different brands, so Stewart said business has been “phenomenal.” He estimates his sales are about 30% higher than last year, and repairs for old bikes have doubled. But Stewart worries smaller shops with less inventory might not survive the supply shortage: “I think it’s going to clean out the industry.”

The demand is also unprecedented in Colorado Springs, said John Crandall, who opened Old Town Bike Shop there back in 1976. Crandall’s sales were above average in May and average in June — but limited inventory has tamped down his sales since July.

“There’s this huge range of variability of what the supply is,” Crandall explained. “It’s a double whammy of the supply chain being interrupted and the demand going way up because people weren’t going to the gyms — a worldwide shortage.”

Even with reduced hours and weekend closures, Bob Magatagan, operations manager at BikeSource’s Highlands Ranch location, said compared with the same time last year the store is seeing a record increase in sales.

Bicycle technician Devon Haynes works to tune and repair a customer’s bike at Bicycle Outfitters in downtown Montrose. (William Woody, Special to The Colorado Sun)

“A lot of people, once they realize that they can’t find bikes are buying used bikes or pulling their bikes down from the garage, and most of that stuff has outdated components and wheels,” Magatagan said. “We normally have about 800 bikes in the store when we’re in full operation. Now I actually have more bikes in for service then I have bikes to be sold from the floor.”

“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen — unlike anything this industry has seen,” added Magatagan, who has worked for BikeSource for 13 years.

As new bikes sell out, some riders are turning to pre-owned inventory, a supply chain that retailers can better control.

“We’re able to capitalize on that — people who have bikes in their garage or don’t ride anymore or who want to trade in what they have. There’s no end of supply for us,” said Matt Heitmann, chief marketing officer at The Pro’s Closet, a Colorado-based company that sells used, high-performance bikes. Almost a third of its sales are from Colorado and California customers.

Read more outdoors stories from The Colorado Sun.

The Pro’s Closet has seen 130% growth in sales so far this year, compared with 2019, and recently raised an additional $12 million in funding. The business for used bikes has been so good that the company plans to move its Boulder headquarters to a new 137,000-square-foot building in Louisville.

While the 2020 bump has been advantageous to the bicycle industry, Hogan, of PeopleForBikes, cautions that bringing all these new and reactivated riders into the bicycle community is key for long-term growth.

“2021 can see this sustained, increased rates of participation,” he said, “if we all address it from an infrastructure standpoint, from a marketing and communications standpoint, from retailers being able to build relationships with these new folks who might have purchased bikes online or purchased them used.”

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  • Colorado releases its plan to slash greenhouse gases, leaving some environmental groups wanting more
  • Bicycle retailers are seeing unprecedented sales. But the supply chain is tight and new bikes are hard to find.
  • The next four weeks will determine if Cory Gardner keeps his job. Here’s how he plans to shift the tide.
  • Julian Assange may end up at Colorado’s Supermax prison, U.K. court is told
  • Winter Park ski train won’t run this season because of coronavirus, set to return in 2022

via Straight News https://coloradosun.com/2020/10/01/coronavirus-caused-bike-shortage-colorado/

Did you miss our previous article…
https://danpabon.com/denver-commemorates-opening-of-60-new-income-restricted-apartments-in-baker-neighborhood/

Denver Commemorates Opening of 60 New Income Restricted Apartments in Baker Neighborhood

#housingstability♿️ ?

Colorado News

Atlantis Apartments opens, offering many units targeted for individuals with disabilities

 

Denver’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST) today celebrated the grand opening of the Atlantis Apartments, a 60-unit community offering income-restricted apartments that are largely targeted to individuals with disabilities. Developed by the Atlantis Community Foundation, the apartments are located at 201 S. Cherokee in the Baker neighborhood.

“We’re proud to invest not only in affordable housing but in much-needed homes for people living with physical or cognitive disabling conditions,” said HOST Executive Director Britta Fisher. “These apartments will make a lasting difference for decades to come and add to the great progress made by the Atlantis Community Foundation in housing individuals.”

The four-story project includes office space and a community conference room on the ground level. Project features include enhanced accessibility features, common area laundry facilities on each floor, sensory elements and way-finding cues in common areas, a workshop/mudroom for repairing wheelchairs and bicycles, and technology/media centers.

All apartments are income-restricted exclusively for households earning up to 60 percent of the area median income (up to $42,000 for a single-person household). The building includes 36 one-bedroom units and 24 two-bedroom units. The building’s first residents moved in earlier this month, and full occupancy is anticipated later in October.

The City and County of Denver provided $800,000 in financing toward the $18.1 million project. The project also received other public finance funds from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, and low-income housing tax credits through the Colorado Housing & Finance Authority.

The Atlantis Apartments is the latest city-supported affordable housing development to open in Denver. A total of 1,593 affordable units that have received city financing are currently under construction at 21 sites through Denver. An additional 1,087 income-restricted units are in the planning stage.

via Straight News https://northdenvernews.com/denver-celebrates-opening-of-60-new-income-restricted-apartments-in-baker-neighborhood/

Colorado governor excuses 2732 people with convictions for having approximately one ounce of cannabis

#executiveorder?‍⚖️ ? ?‍?‍?‍? ⚠️ ? ?

Colorado News

Gov. Jared Polis on Thursday issued an executive order pardoning 2,732 people with low-level marijuana convictions as part of legislation recently passed by the Colorado legislature.

The pardons — made in a blanket action and not after individual case considerations — were issued to people convicted of possessing an ounce or less of marijuana. The Democrat said the action was “cleaning up some of the inequities of the past.”

Polis was able to grant the mass pardons because of the passage of House Bill 1424, which seeks to emphasize social equity in marijuana licensing by giving minorities increased access to Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.

“It’s ridiculous how being written up for smoking a joint in the 1970’s has followed some Coloradans throughout their lives and gotten in the way of their success,” Polis said in a written statement. “Too many Coloradans have been followed their entire lives by a conviction for something that is no longer a crime, and these convictions have impacted their job status, housing and countless other areas of their lives.”

Coloradans voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012. Ever since, cannabis and criminal justice reform advocates have been pushing the state to address the thousands of historic convictions in Colorado for low-level marijuana possession. However, they have only been able to find piecemeal approaches to addressing the issue — until now.

The pardons were granted to people convicted of petty offenses, misdemeanors and felonies.

House Bill 1424 gave Polis the ability to pardon people with convictions for possessing up to two ounces of marijuana, but he opted to act only on cases where people were convicted of possessing one ounce or less of cannabis.

People convicted of municipal marijuana crimes, or people arrested or issued a summons without a conviction, are not included in the pardons, Polis’ office says.

People can find out if they were issued a pardon by filling out a form on the Colorado Bureau of Investigations website. 

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  • Colorado governor pardons 2,732 people with convictions for possessing up to one ounce of marijuana
  • Colorado releases its plan to slash greenhouse gases, leaving some environmental groups wanting more
  • Bicycle retailers are seeing unprecedented sales. But the supply chain is tight and new bikes are hard to find.
  • The next four weeks will determine if Cory Gardner keeps his job. Here’s how he plans to shift the tide.
  • Julian Assange may end up at Colorado’s Supermax prison, U.K. court is told

via Straight News https://coloradosun.com/2020/10/01/jared-polis-marijuana-pardons-colorado/

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https://danpabon.com/wichita-firm-launches-new-line-of-modular-capturing-varieties/

Wichita firm launches new line of modular capturing varieties

#withaction? ? ? ? ?

more news https://northdenvernews.com

CoverSix, a leading manufacturer of protective modular structures for the government and security sectors, has teamed up with Action Target, Inc., the top manufacturer of shooting ranges, targets and related supplies, to launch ARCAS, a new line of modular shooting ranges. 

Modular shooting ranges reduce project time and complexity when compared to brick-and-mortar shooting ranges. These built-to-order shooting range facilities ship to sites worldwide and require minimal site preparation. Each unit is outfitted with shooting range products for advanced training and hit-sensing targets. Additionally, the control platform enables range operators to easily manage their equipment—such as retrievers and HVAC—from a central control screen.

The line of modular ranges includes the ARCAS EXT, ARCAS MBL, and ARCAS DLX.

ARCAS EXT is a modular shooting range available in single and extended module configurations that make it easy to build a range up to three lanes wide and 100m long. Standard features include floor-to-ceiling AR500 steel for critical coverage, steel or rubber bullet traps, advanced target systems, enhanced range control, sound treatment, and range lighting. 

ARCAS MBL is a self-contained mobile firearms training range designed for long life on the open road. This mobile shooting range is 53 ft long and complies with US DOT regulations while maintaining strict ballistic and environmental standards. The onboard HEPA-filtered ventilation system exceeds OSHA and NIOSH standards. Noise reduction treatments make the sound of training comfortable inside and out. A single ARCAS MBL can accommodate up to three shooters with a 7m or 10m training distance. The dual trailer configuration provides 25m training.

ARCAS DLX offers an improved method of providing a modular small arms range (MSAR) by turning the modules sideways to gain more space with fewer units. These purpose-built structures support every component and eliminate vertical columns to provide a true cross-lane tactical training environment. Each ARCAS DLX module is 12 ft wide, up to 62 ft long and offers as many as 14 100m lanes of uninterrupted training space.

The ARCAS DLX accommodates wider lanes and higher ceilings while meeting Department of Defense Unified Facility Criteria (UFC) 4179-02 for indoor small arms firing ranges. This range comes ready to deliver your specific training requirements with Action Target’s suite of advanced shooting range equipment. 

“With the ARCAS line of modular ranges, we are bringing a much-needed range series to market. The modular nature of the line reduces project time – a must for our customers – and the advanced shooting range technology found in the Action Target’s products ensure top quality. We believe that when it comes to safety, quality and innovation, we’ve found the right combination with the ARCAS range and we are more than excited to see them utilized around the world.” Darren Hillman, RedGuard President/CEO. 

About CoverSix

CoverSix serves the needs of federal, defense and security customers throughout the world with specialized and hardened modular structures to provide protection for people and equipment against blast, ballistic and forced entry threats. As a division of RedGuard, and in conjunction with its joint venture partner Specialist Services Group, CoverSix designs and constructs modular structures with manufacturing facilities in the US and the UAE supported by regional offices in the UK, Holland, Saudi Arabia and Singapore. CoverSix has successfully delivered projects worldwide and is a recognized expert in safe, modular space. Common configurations include viewing bunkers, access control points, shelters, command centers, and training ranges. All structures are scalable and customizable, so no matter where duty calls, CoverSix has a solution to serve soldiers, agents, ambassadors, government employees and emergency management personnel.  For more information about CoverSix, visit https://coversix.com.

via Straight News https://northdenvernews.com/wichita-company-launches-new-line-of-modular-shooting-ranges/

$338 million in federal Lost Earnings alleviation paid to Coloradans so far

#twoweeks? ? ? ⬆️

Colorado News

In just under two weeks, Colorado paid out $338 million in Lost Wages Assistance, the newest federal program to help the unemployed during the pandemic, according to the state Department of Labor and Employment on Thursday.

About 217,000 of an eligible 300,000 Coloradans have been paid up to $1,800 on top of the regular unemployment benefits.

COVID-19 IN COLORADO

The latest from the coronavirus outbreak in Colorado:

  • MAP: Known cases in Colorado.
  • TESTING: Here’s where to find a community testing site. The state is now encouraging anyone with symptoms to get tested.
  • STORY: PCR? Antigen? Antibody? Your guide to the different kinds of coronavirus tests and how accurate they are

>> FULL COVERAGE

“There are still funds available and we certainly are encouraging people to please go ahead and complete that certification for regular unemployment insurance claimants and to do so by October 10,” said Cher Haavind, deputy director of the Department of Labor. 

The funds are being paid out on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Lost Wages program was born out of President Donald Trump’s Aug. 8 executive order authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to set aside $44 billion for extended unemployment benefits. It provides a $300 weekly bonus to jobless Americans who already received at least $100 a week between Aug. 26 and Sept. 5. 

More: The $300 “Lost Wages” bonus begins, Amazon is hiring like crazy and answers from Colorado’s labor department

Colorado was approved for $553 million in federal FEMA funds for the program. Of the roughly 300,000 eligible Coloradans, about 68,000 are self-employed or gig workers receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. PUA users do not need to certify. About 6% of unemployed workers did not meet eligibility requirements for Lost Wages. 

Those on regular unemployment needed to certify that their unemployment was due to COVID (for those who still need to certify, go to coloradoui.gov and type in “Lost Wages” in the chat box). Certification must be done by Oct. 10.

Despite some technical difficulties, most eligible Coloradans have been paid. The state began paying out two lump sums of $900 each starting Sept. 17. The second round began late last week. About $311 million was paid out by Sept. 26. An additional $27 million was paid this week, as of Sept. 30, said Jeff Fitzgerald, the state’s director of unemployment insurance, during a call with the media on Thursday.

Since the pandemic began with statewide restrictions in March, approximately 726,000 Coloradans filed for unemployment. About 563,465 were eligible for state unemployment benefits. The others were self-employed and gig workers who qualified for benefits for the first time thanks to the federal CARES Act. Those Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits are paid from federal dollars.

But with so many people unemployed, the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund was emptied in mid-August. Colorado, like 18 other states, has taken a federal loan to pay jobless workers benefits. Colorado has borrowed $350 million from the federal government as of this week.

Colorado has paid out $5.44 billion in unemployment benefits since March 29.

The number of new unemployment claims has been declining for weeks. With the week ended Sept. 26, new claims fell to 4,840 regular unemployment claims, the lowest since March. During the Great Recession, the average number of new weekly claims was 4,800, said Ryan Gedney, a senior economist at the labor department.

The Lost Wages program picked up where an earlier federal program ended. That earlier program, the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, was part of the Congressional CARES Act. It provided an extra $600 per week to anyone on unemployment making at least $1 per week. To date, Colorado paid out $2.46 billion in PUC money. 

But Congress has not yet passed a new coronavirus relief program to aid the unemployed. The partisan split has meant that no plans have moved forward in the U.S. Senate, including one pitched by the Democrats (a $3 trillion plan to continue the $600 weekly benefit until January) and Republicans (a $500 billion plan to pay $300 a week until Dec. 27). 

A third $2.2 trillion plan backed by House Democrats was postponed on Wednesday.


What’s Working is a new Colorado Sun column for anyone whose lost a job or trying to survive as a business. Read the archive and don’t miss the next one. Get this free newsletter delivered to your inbox by signing up at coloradosun.com/getww.

MORE: Read stories on Colorado jobs and unemployment

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  • $338 million in federal “Lost Wages” relief paid to Coloradans so far
  • Colorado governor pardons 2,732 people with convictions for possessing up to one ounce of marijuana
  • Colorado releases its plan to slash greenhouse gases, leaving some environmental groups wanting more
  • Bicycle retailers are seeing unprecedented sales. But the supply chain is tight and new bikes are hard to find.
  • The next four weeks will determine if Cory Gardner keeps his job. Here’s how he plans to shift the tide.

via Straight News https://coloradosun.com/2020/10/01/lost-wages-assistance-lwa-covid-relief-deadline/

Over 15000 Colorado accidents included sidetracked chauffeurs in 2019

#distracteddrivers? ?

get headlines https://thecherrycreeknews.com

 

Despite the risks, 92% of surveyed drivers still admit to driving distracted

 

Distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes on Colorado roads. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), distracted drivers were involved in 15,143 crashes on Colorado roads in 2019, resulting in 4,361 injuries and 28 fatalities. As people hit the road for fall foliage and winter activities, CDOT reminds drivers to drop the distraction and focus on the road ahead.

Top Denver personal injury attorney Brad Freedberg says the problem is the worst he has seen. “Every week I see the results of distracted driving in my practice. The toll on families is horrific and sadly preventable,” says Fredberg.

“Distracted driving continues to be a prevalent issue on Colorado roads, but is easy to fix,” said Darrell Lingk, CDOT Director of the Office of Transportation Safety. “Every time you are tempted to reach for your phone or take your eyes off the road, stop and think about the lives at risk and make a safer decision.”

Despite the notable risks of a crash, Colorado drivers continue to succumb to distracted driving on a regular basis. According to CDOT’s 2020 driving behavior survey, 92% of respondents reported driving distracted in the past seven days. The most common distractions included eating or drinking, selecting entertainment on a device, talking on a hands-free cell phone and reading or sending a message on a cell phone.

Another distracted driving tragedy

“Colorado drivers continue to engage in distracting activities while driving,” said Lingk. “With fall in full swing and winter sports and holidays on the horizon, we encourage people to stay focused on the road and put distractions aside.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Distracted Driving Awareness Month led by the National Safety Council (NSC) was rescheduled from April to October this year. CDOT is partnering with NSC this month to raise awareness for this critical nationwide issue as Coloradans hit the road to enjoy the changing seasons. As you plan your next outing, CDOT suggests the following tips to help you stay focused on the road:

  • Turn your phone to “Do Not Disturb” mode before you start moving to minimize distractions.
  • If you have a passenger, assign them to be your “designated texter” to respond to calls or messages while on the move.
  • Plan stops along your route to pull over and park your car to safely enjoy a snack, stay hydrated and check your cell phone notifications.
  • Select your entertainment settings and GPS options before you start your car so you don’t have to worry about making changes while in motion.
  • Enjoy a break from multitasking and use your drive time to enjoy Colorado’s natural beauty – you just might notice something you’ve never seen before!

Brad Freedberg Attorney at Law

1888 Sherman St #200, Denver, CO 80203

 (303) 892-0900

via Straight News https://northdenvernews.com/over-15000-colorado-crashes-involved-distracted-drivers-in-2019/

Did you miss our previous article…
https://danpabon.com/charges-submitted-in-wheat-ridge-stabbing-death/

Charges submitted in Wheat Ridge stabbing death

#seconddegreemurder? ? ⚰ ?‍⚖️ ?

more news https://northdenvernews.com

CHARGES FILED IN STABBING DEATH IN WHEAT RIDGE

Clinton Eugene Priest, 53,  was advised that he has been charged with multiple charges, including Second Degree Murder in the stabbing death of 32-year-old Robert Miller in Jefferson County District Court.  Priest was charged with Second Degree Murder (F2); four counts of Possession of a Weapon by a Previous Offender (F6); and two violent crime counts.

On September 23, 2020 Wheat Ridge police were called to 4705 Routt Street by 29-year-old Clinton Priest. According to the arrest affidavit, he told police that his father, 53-year-old Clinton Priest, had just returned home from a bar and had blood on his clothing and his body. Minutes later, police were dispatched to the Rambling Rose at 10080 West 44th Avenue on a report of a man down and bleeding in the parking lot. They found Robert Miller on the ground. He appeared to be suffering from stab wounds. Miller was transported to a hospital but died a short time later.

Clinton Priest, 53, is being held on $500,000 bond at the Jefferson County jail. He is due back in court on October 21, 2020 for preliminary hearing.

via Straight News https://northdenvernews.com/charges-filed-in-wheat-ridge-stabbing-death/

Did you miss our previous article…
https://danpabon.com/will-we-see-election-physical-violence-in-november-heres-what-the-study-states/